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Islington’s Kathy Burke directs The Retreat at the Park Theatre

PUBLISHED: 16:30 08 November 2017

Kathy Burke

Kathy Burke

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The Retreat stars Samuel Anderson, Adam Deacon and Jasmine Akram and runs until December 2

Yasmine Akram (Tara), Samuel Anderson (Luke) and Adam Deacon (Tony) in THE RETREAT. Picture: Craig Sugden Yasmine Akram (Tara), Samuel Anderson (Luke) and Adam Deacon (Tony) in THE RETREAT. Picture: Craig Sugden

Lifelong Islington resident Kathy Burke is taking the helm at a new play currently running at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park.

The Nil By Mouth and Harry Enfield and Chums actor-turned-director is taking the lead on The Retreat, which runs until December 2, has been written by Sam Bain, co-creator of Peep Show, Fresh Meat and Four Lions.

“The Retreat appealed to me because it explores spirituality, meditation and mindfulness which are very on-trend subjects at the moment,” says Burke. “Plus it’s very funny.

“The Retreat cast, Samuel Anderson, Adam Deacon and Jasmine Akram, couldn’t be better, sweeter or kinder. We’ve had an extremely short rehearsal period and they have been incredibly hard working.”

The story follows Luke (Samuel Anderson) a former City worker who goes on a meditation retreat in the Scottish Highlands. When his obnoxious older brother (Adam Deacon) arrives, Luke has to decide if Tony is the reason for his dissatisfaction in life or the only one who really knows him.

Anderson is best known for playing Danny Pink in Doctor Who, while Deacon’s starring role in Kidulthood and Adulthood gained him recognition. The cast is completed with Yasmine Akram as Tara, known for her portrayal of Janine in BBC’s Sherlock.

Burke has long been vocal about her love for Islington and the community it nurtures, so is delighted to be directing at a local theatre.

“I love working close to home as it saves a fortune on travel!” she jokes. “The first play I directed was my own play, Mr Thomas, back in 1990, and that’s what kicked off my love for directing.”

Her debut was staged at Angel’s Old Red Lion Theatre. She is a great proponent of local theatre at all levels, having made her first forays into acting at the Anna Scher Theatre School.

She says: “Local drama schemes like The Big House [in Dalston] and Anna Scher’s are extremely important, as most kids can’t afford to go to drama schools.”

The Retreat runs at the Park Theatre in Finsbury Park until December 2. parktheatre.co.uk

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